Friday Afternoon Lights

Michael Shapiro

In the quintessential American town of Bethesda, Maryland, the weekends are reserved for religious observance – high school football games on Friday nights, and church services on Sunday mornings.

When 2:30 hits, the building is emptied of students, and the parking lot is filled with tailgaters. As the smoke of Bethesda barbecue fills the air, an aroma of intensity cannot be ignored – even if it is from the mouth-watering, yet humbly priced world-famous ribs of Cordell Avenue’s very own Smoke BBQ.

Despite Baron football games always being an intense atmosphere, games against arch-rivals Whitman are always different. Despite a move to an earlier start time to mitigate violence amid a history of fights exclusively over the play on the field and definitely nothing else, the stadium is quickly sold out.

As the students pile in, administrators check student IDs for access to the V.I.P. Poolside Club and Suites on the roof of the fourth floor, college scouts from the likes of Alabama and Georgia ponder whether they should recruit 5 or 6 Barons, and ESPN interviews the team during their pre-game warm-up, the game cannot come soon enough, and the Bethesda community is nothing but thankful for the games start time being moved to 5 PM.

From the moment the game kicks off, the atmosphere is electric. By halftime, the outcome of the game is as clear as the water from the B-wing basement’s water fountain, as the Barons are up 34-0. Regardless, no one even considers leaving the stadium, and the stadium is packed until the very end. Despite Whitman scoring a touchdown and very nearly coming back to win, the Barons are left with their heads held high, winning a close one: 41-6.

Although BCC students are pleased their team won – they are also confused. Having seen a strange word starting with a “V” on many shirts in Whitman’s student section, many are left with the same question – “What is a Viking?” Although this is yet to be solved, if anyone has any leads, please contact the editorial staff ASAP.